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How To Longe Your Human

Chloe's Chatter

How To Longe Your Human

Chloe & Andrea

Longeing your human can have many benefits. It helps them release extra energy before they get in the saddle and can be very useful when you want to get their human bucks out. It also is a great option for when your human has been confined in her or his stall longer than usual and needs extra exercise. The end result is an easier (and sometimes shorter) ride for you.

When you are not at your show or special event, it may not always be obvious when your human needs to be longed so I find it is a good technique to always eavesdrop on your human's conversation in the grooming stalls.  It is easier than it sounds because generally humans are quite oblivious. Just stand there and act extremely disinterested and you should be fine. Especially listen for key words such as "project deadlines", "overtime", "I hate my boss", or "my mother-in-law is coming to visit".  If any of these phrases are said it is in your best interest to immediately be overcome with imaginary ants in your pants.  They will eventually grab the longe line and your work will already be 50% done. Disclaimer: If you see your human's trainer grab a helmet and chaps, immediately cease and desist. If your human IS the trainer you can stop reading this article as there is nothing I can do for you. You must have missed some key blog posts along the way.

Congratulations, you have made it to the longeing area. One of my favorite first tactics is to act like this is my first time being longed...every time. No matter which side of my halter Andrea snaps that longe line, I always either start to walk the wrong direction or towards her, into the slack of the line.   This really helps to immediately get under her skin, which I find tires her more quickly. Once she has me trotting, I like to look off into la-la land and sometimes blast a few "oh heys" to strangers. This is also when you want to start leaning away from the center, which will cause your human to take steps towards you and eventually your longe circle will be in a completely different spot from where it began. The canter is where you can really tire them out. If you do not "fast trot" at least 1.5 circle laps when they are clearly asking for you to canter, you are doing something wrong. Be sure to randomly break back to the trot once you are cantering. Do this often. Remember, your goal is to get your human to work harder than you are. You want her or him to be trotting their own circle, waving their hands or longe whip in the air and making that dumb "clucking" noise they like to make at us. Seriously, where does that come from??? You don't see me clucking to nag Pickels when I want her to get moving out of my way.

When Andrea thinks I am behaving and getting tired, she will bring me into the center to switch my direction. After she snaps the line to the other side of my halter, I repeat step one above and walk towards her or in the wrong direction. It is so fun!! When she asks me to canter this direction, I like to do so immediately, without her even needing to cluck or use the longe whip.  I can almost read her thoughts, " Chloe is going to be really quiet today. Maybe I need a spur?"  That's the exact moment that I like to unleash a can of spooks and bucks and farts (in this exact order) at the scary tree monster that I conveniently notice for the first time. I like to then freak her out by going in a very fast and unbalanced canter, continuing to shy at the tree-monster every time I go by. At this point, she is quite exasperated...but most importantly, she is mentally and physically tired. Oh don't worry about her, it's nothing a few "clucks" can't cure, right?

 

Demonstrating the "oh hey" and lean outward into la-la land.

Demonstrating the "oh hey" and lean outward into la-la land.

Andrea is already out of breath and its the first direction. #winning!

Andrea is already out of breath and its the first direction. #winning!